The Most Influential Gear of All Time: Rollerblades

1980

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Early Rollerblades/Early Rollerblade Advertisement     Photo: Courtesy of Rollerblade

Scott Olson and Brennan Olson, two hockey-playing brothers from Minnesota, were rummaging through a sporting goods store in 1980 when they discovered roller skates that had been modified. The special pair had all of its wheels in a row instead of at the four corners of a metal underfoot frame. In an effort to create a skate that would serve as a training tool in the offseason, the Olson’s began reworking the wheel placement. They played with bolting inline wheels to their ice hockey boots and adding rubber toe bumpers. Quite quickly, the first pair of rollerblades took shape in their shop. The popularity of rollerblading quickly soared and it was included as one of nine sports in the first X-Games. Though the activity has lost steam in the United States since the ‘80s, the French still embrace it.

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